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    Small Steps Rule

    fitnessWelcome to Inside Out Fitness, where you can find out how to make your exercise routine safe, effective, easy to do and fun! It is different than traditional fitness programming because you assume responsibility for your own body.

    You learn to listen to your body and respond accordingly. Today we will look at how you can discern your body’s voice of wisdom.

    When it comes to fitness, most people bite off more than they can chew and then give up. Inside Out Fitness paves a completely different exercise pathway by using super effective, small step–yet powerful–exercises.

    Day by day, or moment to moment, your only fitness concern should be your next step. Just the next small step.

    The problem is that you have been led to believe that you must do certain things to get stronger. For instance: 30 minutes of walking or cardio, tons of leg lifts to help fix your knee, or going to a dreaded gym. None of that is true. In other words, more is not always better. Taking small steps is the key to success!

    Not only are small steps great for moving you comfortably along on your inside out fitness path, but also there are benefits to small steps that you cannot get from anything else.

    Small steps:

    bring your anxiety down right away because they are easy to do;

    allow you to relax while moving, permitting gradual strengthening;

    greatly reduce the risk of injury;

    and circumvent the “all or nothing” routine that has many of you defeated before you even start.

    There is no prize for doing more than what is right for you. There is no benefit to overdoing it. There is no moral high ground in sacrificing yourself to the exercise gods!

    Let’s look at some examples of good small steps. You can search YouTube for Cinder Ernst and see many small step exercise videos.

    I have a client who decided to increase her walking by taking a lap around the car each morning before she got in.

    Another client with pretty severe back and knee pain decided that she would walk 2 driveways down and back. A block was too much. She found her perfect next small step.

    Another client uses get ups from a chair at home when he needs a quick energy boost. Get ups (simply standing up and sitting back down) are one of the best strength and stamina building exercises.

    One of my favorite small step exercises is a Tush Tilt. It is done in a chair and it strengthens your core and your butt muscles. This laser targeted small step exercise can sometimes help to resolve knee and back pain.

    Try the Tush Tilt now:

    Sit tall and straight in your chair, feet flat on the floor, ribcage lifted.

    Do a pelvic tilt by pressing your lower back towards the back of your chair. Think navel to spine. Keep your ribcage lifted.

    Hold the pelvic tilt and squeeze your butt cheeks together.

    Release, relax and repeat 5 or 10 times.

    Repeat all of the above a few times throughout the day.

    Remember that using small steps keeps you safe, motivated and relaxed when you are exercising. Doesn’t that sound nice?

    The next time we will address how you can identify and follow your body’s voice of wisdom. In the meantime, if you have related questions, feel free to email

    Cinder Ernst, Medical Exercise Specialist and Life Coach Extraordinaire, helps reluctant exercisers get moving with safe, effective and fun programs. Find out more at